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MD Fike Interview

DM Fike – Author of The Magic of Nasci Series – find out more at her website. She has worked in the video game industry for over a decade, starting out as a project manager and eventually becoming a story writer for characters, plots, and missions.  She’s the head writer for Battle Strike Force, a mobile MMO featuring Sylvester Stallone.  Born in Idaho’s Magic Valley (you can’t make this stuff up), DM Fike lived in Japan teaching English before calling Oregon home.  She loves family, fantasy, and food (mostly in that order) and is on the constant look out for new co-op board games to play.

  1. What is your book about?
    The Magic of Nasci series is about a nature wizard named Ina who’s learning the ropes of elemental magic: fire, air, earth, and water. She can also manipulate lightning, although usually with disastrous results. In the first book Chasing Lightning, Ina faces off against a cryptid that’s killing endangered animals on the Oregon coast, all while local law enforcement believe Ina to be the poacher responsible. It’s an action adventure fantasy with monster fight scenes and a slow-burn romance.
  2. Every author does something different with urban fantasy, what is your twist on the genre?
    I decided to focus on the most rural setting you can imagine: our national forests. I know that some people might consider this “contemporary fantasy,” but the books still all have the classic urban fantasy tropes: people who use their talents to protect others, monsters to slay, and secret societies with political drama. All this inside our country’s biggest backyards, which to me feels like the most magical places on earth.
  3. What inspired you to write this book?
    Living in Oregon made me want to write books based on the wilderness around here. I can drive three hours and go from the temperature coasts with its rocky cliffs, zip through steep mountain terrain, and end up on the edge of a semi-arid desert. There are so many good stories that can be told in such rich environments. Elemental magic is a natural fit as the base for this world.
  4. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? As a casual nature enthusiast, I really had to up my game to portray my setting in the proper light. I now own dictionary-thick wilderness guides that I use to pick the flora and fauna that feature in each story. I subscribe to local environmental news channels to hear what kinds of legislation might affect the area. I also brush up on cryptid mythology so Ina has varied creatures to fight. But my favorite research is hopping into the car and driving to a new hiking spot that just might become part of my next book.
  5. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
    I’ve been writing a long time before I decided to self-publish. Before publishing Chasing Lightning, I worked in the video game industry and wrote the back story for a mobile MMO called Battle Strike Force starring Sylvester Stallone. Getting an actor of his caliber to voice act for lines I’d wrote is a highlight of my life. In between contract work for games, I’ve been writing the first 5 books of the Magic of Nasci. I wanted them all interconnected, with each book having its own plot, but rising to a major conflict at the end of Book 5. I plan to publish all five before the end of the year. And I’ve got a portal fantasy trilogy in rough draft form to tinker with, perhaps polished enough for publication in 2021.